Such a (large) small world

So much to say, and so little time….between the jet lag and the all day conference, I’m super tired. Today was….something. Full of moments where I felt proud of myself and definitely a few where I wished the ground would just swallow me whole.

Well, lets start at the beginning. I got up early to run, only to realize that it was still dark out. Awesome. So, I made up yoga in my room….that works, right?  Then walked over to the conference hotel to take the shuttle to the conference. It was cool to run into a lot of familiar faces from last night and have people to talk to.  As we boarded the shuttle, there were a couple of people on there already. Apparently, one of them was staying at my hotel and had gotten lost (once) the day before, so had the shuttle come special for her to a different hotel. On one hand, would have been great to know and saved me a walk….on the other, I did feel a little proud of myself for figuring it out on my own. Have I been lost since I’ve been here?  Of course….have I figured it out?  You bet, and really, that’s half the fun.

So we get to the conferee at Jacob’s University. Today, there are signs and people everywhere telling us where to go. And they gave us a neat little bag with a bunch of stuff and information in it. Wild have been handy to have the previous night, but oh well.  Then we had the morning sessions, followed by lunch and the poster session, which I was part of. Eeek…..

I manned our poster alone for most of the time because my professor had another meeting to go to – our poster that we put together wrong, but that’s another story, and it all worked out in the end. I talked to a lot more people than I thought I would, many of whom I met last night and wanted to check my stuff out. I thought it was cool that I could somewhat hold my own amongst professors ad Ph. D students from across the globe. Of course the presenter next to me was from Pittsburg, hence the small world. For the most part, people were polite, asked good questions, and had helpful feedback. And then it was almost the end…and I was charged by three men in suits. Somehow, I knew this wouldn’t go well. And….it didn’t. They had some questions about one of our case studies….some of the raw data I pulled from the company website, some information we got in one of the interviews, etc.  Valid questions, good callouts….but rather than make them and move on, they continued to drill at it, move away from one piece and then circle back to it. I did the best I could to answer their questions and continue to reiterate my points.  As I look back on it now, I’m more proud of how I handled the situation and could realize how much I’ve grown through school and work and experiences than anything else. But, I’m not going to lie, I really am a fish out of water at these things and sometimes it really does feel like it.

Then we had afternoon sessions followed by an evening event. It made for a really long day, and I was hoping to escape the evening thing, but there really wasn’t a way to do so. It turned out ok, there was wine…but I was promised dinner and given finger food. I’m hungry. And there were several more presentations before dinner, which were tough to get through until 8pm without food. Though, counting the people falling asleep was entertaining, I felt bad for the presenters. I did have a chance to meet some new, cool people, which I enjoyed, as well as reconnect with those I met yesterday. I’ve met a lot of interesting, diverse people over the past few days, and that’s been amazing.

Ok….it’s late and it’s once again an early morning. Even if I do plan to go late tomorrow….oops….

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